The EU is looking into allegations that food companies are selling lower quality food products to some EU countries. The European Commission presents its latest findings and discusses consumer protection laws with MEPs.
Same brand, same product, identical packaging. Same quality, right? Not necessarily – that's the complaint of some eastern European nations. They say certain products sold in their countries are of lower quality compared to those sold in western Europe. In Slovakia, one study noted that there was less meat in local versions of the same products. One wafer brand was less crunchy in Hungary than those in Austrian supermarkets. Some beverages contained more artificial sweeteners. In a Union of equals, there can be no second-class consumers. I can't accept that in some parts of Europe, particularly in central and eastern Europe, people are sold food of lower quality than in other countries, despite the packaging and branding being identical. Companies argue that they adjust their products to suit local tastes, and ingredients are clearly listed on the packaging. All consumers throughout Europe should enjoy good and healthy food without discrimination. Consumers should be empowered to make free and informed choices. MEPs and the European Commission are looking into the issue and discussing consumer protection laws. The Commission released guidelines to help national authorities assess claims that inferior products are being sold in their countries. One million euros has also been set aside to help finance such studies.